The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Derrick Brooks as the 31st Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the Florida Panthers. Brooks, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Derrick Brooks Charities.
Brooks has made it his personal mission to positively impact the lives of youth throughout the Tampa Bay area. He has inspired and motivated many youths through his various programs and partnerships. In addition to helping local children, Brooks has programs designed to help college aged individuals excel and succeed. In August 2007, Brooks opened the Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School charter school, which now enrolls over 300 students.
Throughout his playing career and his life after the NFL, Brooks has served approximately 3,000 youth in 10 schools, two Neighborhood Service Centers, the Wilbur Davis Boys and Girls Club and the Juvenile Diversion/Teen Court Program. In addition, he graduated over 65 students from college, has two students in medical school, multiple young adults in graduate school and over 100 students currently enrolled in undergraduate school.